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July 29, 2014

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Photos: Pacquiao and Marquez draw NFR champions, Miss Universe hopefuls

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Chris Farina/Top Rank

Manny Pacquiao, 2012 Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon, 2012 Miss Mexico Karina Gonzalez and Juan Manuel Marquez at MGM Grand on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.

Pacquiao and Marquez: Final News Conference

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, left, and Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico pose during a news conference at the MGM Grand Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Pacquiao and Marquez will fight for a fourth time in a welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday. Launch slideshow »
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Cody Ohl, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Fred Whitfield at MGM Grand on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.

Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4

It was an unlikely collision of cowboys and boxing champions -- with beauty queen contestants added to deliver the knockout punch!

Wednesday’s press conference for Saturday night’s big fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez brought out other stars, and Las Vegas Sun photographer Steve Marcus and videographer Richard Corey were on hand to capture all the action.

With a ring war erupting between the Filipino fighter and the Mexican challenger for a fourth time, it was obvious with the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood on Dec. 19 that the two beauty queens would go to the corners to root for their countrymen.

2012 Miss Mexico Karina Gonzalez, 21, was there to support four-time world titleholder Juan Manuel, and 2012 Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon, 23, was there to cheer on Manny, eight-time world champion and Fighter of the Decade.

Also there: Cody Ohl and Fred Whitfield, two world champion MGM Grand-sponsored cowboys in town for the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Cody is a six-time world champion tie-down roper, and Fred, who has won eight world titles, wanted to meet the boxers.

This eagerly anticipated fourth fight in the historic rivalry is a 12-round welterweight battle between two of the era’s top pound-for-pound and evenly matched fighters. The battle promoted by Las Vegas’ own Bob Arum airs live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Las Vegas Sun Sports Editor Ray Brewer covered the press conference at MGM Grand.

Cody and Fred kick off their own 10-day race to another world title today as NFR gets underway at the Thomas & Mack Center. The cowboys will compete as two of the Top 15 tie-down ropers contending for the coveted world championship title and belt buckle.

Today also is the official welcoming ceremony for all 89 Miss Universe Pageant contestants in a runway fashion show open to the public at 5 p.m. on Planet Hollywood’s mezzanine. Check back later for our full report.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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